Today’s intention is heartfulness, learning to connect to our hearts and letting our inner light and love shine on day to day life, the world around us and ourselves. Tammy’s class can be used as a full lesson plan or as mini mindful breaks throughout the day. Enjoy! Have fun connecting, being silly and present!
Whisper Breath (Darth Vadar Breath) in Seated Pose
Come to a seated pose (crisscross applesauce). Make a loud whisper as you say the word “AAHHHH” – like a nice big sigh! Now close your mouth and try to make the same sound, exhaling through your nose only. Be gentle and try to not force the breath.
It may feel like a bit of a tickle in the back of your throat. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed, eyes closed or open, and see how long you can make the sound. Focus on the sound of the breath for a few minutes. When you are finished, come to all fours like a table.
From your tabletop, make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders, and your knees are directly under your hips. Inhale and lower your belly toward the floor, lift your chest and chin upward. This is Cow pose.
Now, as you exhale, round your back upward toward the sky and push your hands into the floor. This is Cat pose. Go back and forth between these two poses, and let your breath guide you into the next pose. You can also add sounds to these poses. Say “moo” for cow, and “meow” for cat.
ADD ON: From tabletop, try to lift your left arm and find your balance. To make this more of a challenge, also lift your right leg in line with your body and inhale as you hold this pose. On your exhale, lower your arm and leg, and return to your tabletop.
Try it again on the opposite side, using your right arm and left leg. Inhale to reach through your fingers and toes, exhale and lower back down. It is a challenge to find balance in this spinal balance flow, so drop your knee back to the floor if you need to, and just work on lifting one arm and then the other.
After you have done this a few times, sit back into your child’s pose, and take 3 slow breaths in and out. Rise up to your feet.
Go, Stop, Freeze, Melt Warm Up
Pick one person to be the leader to begin the game. Spread out to be sure you have space to move around. The leader will begin to call out actions, such as “Go Walk, Go Crawl, and Go Roll”.
When the leader calls out “freeze”, stop whatever action you are doing and be very still as if you were frozen. When the leader says “melt”, act as if the ice is now melting off of the frozen you, and melt all the way back down to the floor into Child’s Pose.
The leader can repeat this a few times, and even change up the commands. Once the leader has had a chance to do this a few times, change to a new leader and repeat.
Take turns so that everyone gets a chance to be the leader. You can also do this with music, similar to musical chairs. Have fun with it, and play for as long as you like. Be careful not to run or jump so everyone stays safe.
When you are done, come into a standing position (Mountain Pose). Close your eyes. With your hands at your side, let your shoulders relax. Take a few moments to settle your breath.
From Mountain pose, step your right foot back behind you. Turn the back heel down to the floor so the back foot points out towards the side of your mat at an angle. Keep your left knee bent so your knee is directly over your left ankle.
Inhale, and lift your arms up so that your palms face each other. Keep your shoulders relaxed and let your hips sink. This is Warrior 1 pose. If this is hard with the arms lifted, keep your hands on your hips instead. Try to hold this pose for a few breaths.
When you are ready drop your back knee down to the floor. Once again, inhale and lift your arms up. Imagine that you are a dragon! Open your mouth and as you exhale, breathe out fire, and even make a dragon sound if you like.
Let your hands come down to the floor on either side of your foot and step back up into Mountain pose. Repeat this again, this time stepping your left foot back behind you, bending your right knee over your right ankle. Hol
d Warrior 1, and then move into Dragon pose. Repeat the whole thing once more, making sure you do both sides in both Warrior 1 and Dragon pose.
Heart Shape (Partner Pose)
Now that you know Warrior 1 pose, try it with a partner. Stand facing away from your partner step your left foot back, so that you and your partner’s heel touch each other. Remember to bend your right knee.
Inhale, and reach your hands behind, opening your chest and shoulders, reach for your partner’s hands or wrists. Hold this for a full breath in and a long exhale out.
Release hands, switch feet, and repeat on the opposite side. Be gentle while holding onto your partner, do not pull them forward or down. Work together so you both feel a stretch your legs, shoulders, and chest.
Heartfulness is learning to connect to our hearts and letting our inner light and love shine on day to day life, the world around us and ourselves. Just like our plant has roots, our heart has roots too! – compassion, empathy, courage, wonder, sincerity, forgiveness, joy –
In connecting to our heart’s roots, we grow to be present in the moment and tackle challenges with courage and grace.
Bridge and/or Wheel Pose
Lie down on your back, bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Begin to lift your hips up toward the sky. Try to hold this pose, but keep your breath steady with deep inhales and long exhales. This is a bridge pose.
Push your hips up and press your feet down into the floor. Keep your toes facing forward, and your knees over your ankles. Lower back down onto your back as you exhale. Try it again, or come into wheel pose.
In wheel pose, you will place your hands above your shoulders, palms flat, fingertips pointing toward your feet. Press into your feet and into your hands to lift your hips up toward the sky. Try to straighten your arms.
Take a big breath in, and as you exhale lower back down to the floor slowly, tucking your chin toward your chest. Take a moment when you are back down on the floor and take a full breath in and out. Wheel pose can be very tricky, so if it is scary or too hard, then just try bridge pose again.
One partner comes into tabletop, and the other partner lies perpendicular on their back. The partner on top is making a wheel pose, but it is easier because their back rests on their partner’s back.
The hands of the partner in wheel do not need to come all the way to the floor. The partner in tabletop can start to move into cow pose, dropping their belly towards the floor, and then into cat pose, rounding their back and pushing into their hands.
Both partners are getting a back bend, and the partner on the top gets a nice back massage too! Do this a few times, and then switch positions.
Knees to chest/Dead Bug (Happy Baby) Pose
Come back down to the floor, laying on your back. Bring your knees to your chest, and give yourself a hug around, or under your knees. Feel your low back press down into the floor, and begin to rock side to side nice and slow.
Now, let your knees open up wider, and grab onto your feet, or behind your knees. Draw the knees down towards the sides of your body, and keep your heels over your knees. Relax your shoulders, and once again rock side to side, nice and slow.
We call this Dead Bug Pose as it might look like a dead bug laying on its back. Another name for it is Happy Baby Pose, because babies like to grab onto their feet and roll around. Try making a happy baby sound here as your rock side to side like a gurgle or giggle.
Remain on your back, and bring your feet to the floor again. Stretch your arms out to your sides like you are making the letter T. Keep your shoulders and feet on the floor.
As you exhale, drop both of your knees over to the right. Stay here for another breath. As you inhale again, bring your knees back to the center.
Exhale, and drop your knees to the left. Stay here for a breath, inhale, and return to center. Do this a few more times, moving back and forth like your legs are windshield wipers on a car windshield.
Final Relaxation (Animal Friend)
Remain on your back and straighten your legs. Let your arms relax to your sides. Let your palms face up, and your feet fall open. Close your eyes, or keep them open. Stay as still as possible.
Imagine that you are outside. The sun is shining and birds are singing. You notice a rustling in the bushes and then hear a giggle. It is a friendly animal that is watching you, and wants to play.
Let it come closer to you. Imagine that your new friend tells you a secret, or a worry that he has. He asks you if you are worried or have any questions for him too. You stay and talk for a while, and maybe play a fun game.
Now it is time for your friend to go home, so you watch him stroll away. One again notice the warm sun, the feel of the grass, and the other sounds around you. Take a big breath in, and a long breath out.
Take your time and come back to your seated (crisscross applesauce) position. Open your eyes and share what you imagined. What kind of animal did you see? What was his name? What kind of games did you play? What secrets or worries or questions did you share? Take turns sharing your stories, or draw a picture go along with your story.
To finish your practice, sit together facing each other, bring your palms together and place them near your heart. Say the words “Namaste” (na-ma-stay) to each other. This word means that all of the light and good things that are inside of me, see the light and good in you also.
Thank you for reading today! And thank you, Tammy, for sharing today’s class. Sending well wishes to you all. Looking forward to seeing you soon!